Just when you thought that the corporate financial presentation was in the recovery ward. And this happens. Yes, only this week we reviewed the RB results presentation. And yes, we were impressed. So, we were really disappointed with this Whitbread results presentation. Both businesses, of course, have long UK pedigrees. But it does seem that Whitbread has adopted the death by PowerPoint stance of so many US corporates. And that's a disappointment.
The Whitbread results presentation is long with 38 pages before we get to the appendices. That's quite a piece of work. And it's particularly so, because of the sheer volume of content in the presentation. There is so much material in this presentation that you could be here a long time just trying to read it all.
In terms of the colour palette for the presentation, that's a success. Because obvious Whitbread corporate colours appear in all the right places and their brand association is clear.
There was also a clear structure to this Whitbread results presentation and this was reinforced with an index at the start. That also identified that this was a team presentation, albeit with only two team members. Handovers and connections are always so important with a team presentation and this one worked.
The summary of the business plan was mercifully short at only the one slide. Yet it really did carry a lot of words in this one slide. At this point we realised this was a financial report masquerading as a presentation. And we saw nothing later to dissuade us of this view. Because as a financial report this document has just about anything you want. But, as a presentation it fails to inspire.
However, we wonder if the audience was concerned. Probably not, because the very first slide after the executive summary tackled the Costa demerger. And, so the suspicion has to be that the audience was either immediately satisfied or just intrigued. Of course it couldn't have been a surprise, since so many of the newspapers had trailed the story for weeks.
So, the Whitbread results presentation had one big story. And they delivered that with near perfection. Certainly the subsequent press coverage was extensive.
Corporate jargon wasn't an issue with this presentation. Yes, we found some opaque language. But we deciphered it quickly enough.
Responding to increased consumer demand for convenience through channel shift.
However, as a financial presentation it was over-thorough with too much information and too little inspiration for the future of the two businesses. As a document of financial record, we can't fault it.
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